Colonel Joseph J. Louder, USMC ret, was born and raised in Altoona, PA. He was a graduate of Altoona (PA) High School and Pepperdine University. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1949.
He served as a Platoon Sergeant with the 5th Marines in Korea where he was awarded the Navy Cross, a Bronze Star with Combat ‘V’, the Purple Heart, and received the Korean Order of Wharang Medal while engaged in operations against the Chinese Communist Forces.
Following the Korean War, Staff Sergeant Louder was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He served in multiple locations and assignments in his 32 year career to include Gunner Warrant Officer, recruit company commander and Commanding General’s Aide at Parris Island, 1st Tank Battalion Commander followed by 1st Motor Transport Battalion Commander with the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam, and Director, 1st Marine Corps District in Garden City, NY. He attended the US Army Armor School Advanced Course and the US Army War College in Carlisle, PA.
His other personal decorations also include: the Legion of Merit with Combat ‘V’, the Army Soldier’s Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal w/ three stars, Vietnam Service Metal w/ one star, Vietnamese Honor Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Commendation, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Upon retiring from the Marine Corps as a Colonel in 1981, Joseph led the JROTC at Apopka High School and resided in Longwood, FL. While teaching there, he was selected as ‘Teacher of the Year’. He retired from teaching in 1993. He also served as a square dance choreographer and caller for dance clubs around the greater Orlando area.
Joseph was married to the former Teresa Maria Douglas for 65 years before her passing in 2014. He leaves 5 children (Debra, John, Robert, Donna, and Michael), 10 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.